Serum biomarkers of colonic polyps in patients with acromegaly: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Pituitary. 2023 Feb;26(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s11102-022-01287-z. Epub 2022 Dec 21.


Purpose: In the past few decades, acromegaly and colonic polyps have been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Previous studies highlighted the importance of serum biomarkers of colonic polyps in patients with acromegaly.

Methods: We reviewed studies on serum biomarkers of colonic polyps in patients with acromegaly, published on PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Medline, and Chinese databases from January 1, 1966, to May 8, 2022. Meta-analysis and systematic review were conducted using Stata MP 14.0.

Results: Eight articles were included in this study. The mean (standard deviation) concentrations of serum biomarkers for acromegaly with and without colorectal polyps were extracted from these studies. Meta-analysis results showed that, compared to patients without colonic polyps, the levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 × upper limit of normal range (IGF-1 × ULN) and fasting insulin were significantly increased; while the levels of growth hormone (GH) were significantly decreased in patients with acromegaly and colonic polyps (IGF-1 × ULN: SMD 0.23; 95% CI 0.03-0.42, p < 0.05) (fasting insulin: SMD 0.95; 9 5% CI 0.11-1.8, p < 0.05) (GH: SMD - 0.25; 95% CI - 0.41 to - 0.08, p < 0.05). IGF-1 and FPG levels did not differ significantly (IGF-1: SMD -0.03; 95% CI - 0.22 to 0.17, p > 0.05) (FPG: SMD 0.14; 95% CI - 0.23 to 0.52, p > 0.05). The systematic review results suggest no significant differences in hemoglobin A1C, TSH, free thyroxine, FT4, T3, PRL, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, fibrinogen, clathrate antigen, serum antigen 19-9, and α-fetoprotein levels, but serum Klotho levels.

Conclusion: We present the first meta-analysis and systematic review of serum biomarkers in patients with acromegaly or colonic polyps. The prevalence of colonic lesion polyps, is associated with higher IGF-1 × ULN levels, higher insulin levels in acromegaly. Further research is required to confirm GH and serum soluble Klotho levels as biomarkers of colonic polyps. When IGF-1 × ULN, fasting insulin levels change in patients with acromegaly, the occurrence of colonic polyps should be monitored. Early detection may reduce the possibility of developing malignant colon neoplasms.

Keywords: Acromegaly; Colonic polyp; Colorectal cancer; GH-secreting pituitary adenoma; Serum biomarker.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly* / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers
  • Colonic Polyps* / epidemiology
  • Growth Hormone
  • Human Growth Hormone*
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin
  • Biomarkers